The following lifestyle modifications will help in relieving the discomfort of reflux:
1) Watch what you eat and drink. Avoid things that can increase stomach acid.
- Avoid acidic or high-fat foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, or fast-food hamburgers
- Avoid coffee, tea, alcoholic, or carbonated beverages (with or without caffeine)
- Avoid chocolate
- Avoid mints
2) Watch when you eat or drink.
- Divide your daily food intake into smaller quantities, more often (several smaller meals vs one or two huge meals)
- Don’t eat late at night and don’t lie down for at least an hour after eating
3) Watch your weight and your smoking habits.
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- If you smoke, quit (smoking increases stomach acid)
4) Other helpful hints.
- Avoid bending over unless you have to
- Don’t wear tight belts or tight-fitting clothes
- Raise the head of your bed 6-10 inches by placing blocks or books under the legs. Lying flat lets acid reflux back up into the esophagus.
- Take any medication your physician has prescribed for your condition.
- Check with your physician before taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, they can make reflux symptoms worse.